As kids, most of us at least occasionally wanted a day off to sleep in or to run off on a crazy adventure like Ferris Bueller. Unfortunately, it’s technically against the law for school-aged children to skip school. Skipping school is called truancy. Compulsory education laws to prevent truancy and to ensure everyone has a basic level of education exist across the United States.
The table below outlines the Colorado’s compulsory education laws.
|Code Sections||Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 22-33-104 to 22-33-?: School Attendance Act of 1963|
|Age at Which School Attendance is Required||Children between the ages of 6 (on August 1 of each year) and 16 must attend school.|
|Exceptions to Attendance Requirements||The compulsory attendance law doesn’t apply to children when:
||Parents who homeschool their children don’t have to follow the rules in the Colorado Educator Licensing Act of 1991, but they must:
|Penalties for Noncompliance||Each school district has at least one attendance officer designated to enforce compulsory education in his or her schools. The school board for each district also has to adopt and implement policies and procedures for handling habitually truant children and their parents. The goal is to help children stay in school. Sometimes fixing a different problem, such as creating a child special education plan for the child or removing a bully from his or her class, will stop the child from ditching school.
A child is considered “habitually truant” when a child required to attend school has four unexcused absences in one month or ten unexcused absences in any school year. Habitually truant children can be sent to juvenile detention, put on house arrest with an ankle monitor, have a truancy officer call them or pick them up to take them to school, and additional penalties.
Parents of habitually truant children can also be punished by the Truancy Court. If a abuse or neglect is found to be a part of the truancy problem, a child can be removed from the home.
Note: State laws change all the time, it’s important to verify these state laws by conducting your own research or contacting an experienced Colorado Education Law attorney.
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